Office of the Controller

Travel

The ISU Travel Department assists University departments by relaying information, explaining and interpreting travel policies and procedures, processing Travel Authorizations, processing Travel Reimbursements, and keeping accurate travel records. We will make our best effort to ensure that you will receive reimbursement for travel expenses within five working days from the time your complete and accurate expense report has been fully approved. 

Official University travel is defined as travel by University personnel, non-University personnel, and University students when the authorizing individuals consider such travel to be in the professional and/or business interest of both the traveler and the University. Such expenses may include transportation, lodging, subsistence, and registration fees. Travelers are expected to observe the University's policies and procedures in the type and amount of expenses incurred. In order for your reimbursement to be non-taxable, you must follow ISU's Accountable Plan Guidelines. ISU will only pay for travel that is properly authorized.

International Travel Warnings/Alerts: The Vice President of your area or Provost must review and approve faculty/staff/student travel to countries/areas for which the U.S. State Department has issued a Travel Warning or Alert (see U.S. Department of State Travel Alerts). Approvals will also be needed if the U.S. State Department issues a Travel Alert or Warning after the initial authorization was granted, but prior to the date of the actual trip. It is the responsibility of the traveler to get approval prior to departure. Please see the International Travel section below for additional information.

Visit the tabs below to learn more about the travel policies and procedures of the University.

COVID Travel Constraints: Domestic business travel will only be allowed in limited circumstances and with approval from the appropriate Vice President. Please attach the email approval as a pdf file to the pre-approval prior to submission. University-sponsored international travel will not be approved until further notice.

University-sponsored/funded student travel is suspended for the fall semester. Exceptions can be granted only with approval of the appropriate Cabinet member.

All Study Abroad and other international student study or research trips has been cancelled for the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year.

Employees who travel to areas with an outbreak of COVID-19 will be expected to remain home for a period of fourteen (14) days.

Rideshare and Car Rental:

It is recognized that vehicles could pose a risk for COVID-19 transmission considering the smaller airspace and the challenges with maintaining the suggested 6 food separation between individuals. No employee will be required to rideshare with multiple passengers when conducted University business travel. Limit the number of passengers in a vehicle to only those necessary. Wear a face mask and ride in the rear seat of the vehicle when possible. Travel by multi-passenger vans will not be approved without prior approval by a VP or Cabinet member.

Reservations of vans for local transportation of students to field sites or other locations is prohibited. Exceptions can be granted only with approval of the appropriate Cabinet member.

Authorization

Travel Checklists

Travel Checklists

All University travel must be approved in advance from their appropriate authorizing official- Department Chair, Administrator, Dean, Vice President, or President. A Pre-Approval form must be completed in Chrome River for any travel where reimbursement will be requested. This includes items charged as a direct bill. In most cases, prior authorization is required at least 3 weeks in advance of travel. This includes individuals visiting ISU (candidates, honoraria, consultants, etc.).

Pre-Travel:

  1. Traveler or Delegate: Complete a Pre-Approval in Chrome River that includes travel details and estimates for each expense category. If the traveler is an individual visiting ISU such as a candidate, honoraria, consultant, speaker, etc. a Pre-Approval must be completed under the Chrome River account of an ISU employee. Submission of the Pre-Approval acknowledges that travel is directly related to University business. All travel reimbursements for employees are completed via direct deposit. Accounts Payable direct deposit is different from Payroll. Please refer to the Direct Deposit page for more information.
    • A blanket Pre-Approval should be used for employees whose primary job duties require travel on a routine and repeating basis. The department would not have to create a new Pre-Approval each time the individual travels while allowing for multiple reimbursements to be submitted against the same Pre-Approval. During the process of creating the Pre-Approval in Chrome River, select the box labeled "Blanket" on the header page. A blanket Pre-Approval will not require the city and state to be entered as the travel may be completed at multiple locations on different dates.
    • Pre-Approvals are not required for official business travel that will not result in a reimbursement. Divisions and/or departments should implement their own approval requirements that include, at a minimum, verbal approval by the traveler's supervisor. If you have questions about completing the Pre-Approval, please contact a Travel Account Specialist at x3541.
  2. Department: Make sure funds are available within your travel budget to cover estimates. If the budget is not available the Pre-Approval may be held up or returned. If the travel has a maximum payable amount that the department will reimburse make sure the total estimate of the Pre-Approval does not exceed the maximum allowed. Direct bill expenses should be included in the total estimate.
  3. Authorizing Official(s): Routing steps for Pre-Approvals and Expense Reports are determined by the financial managers of the organization and fund associated with the Index being used, the type of travel, and the total amount being requested. Foreign travel and any requests above $2,000 are automatically routed to the Dean (if applicable) and the Office of the Vice President. The Grant Department the associated Principal Invesigator will be in the routing steps for all indexes related to grant funding.
  4. Controller’s Office: Travel Account Specialist will review the Pre-Approval, checking for appropriate estimates, validating that adequate funds are available to cover the estimated expenditures and that travel is an appropriate expenditure of University funds. If a Pre-Approval is filled out incorrectly, incomplete, or does not have appropriate authorization, it will be returned to the traveler for editing or explanation and re-submission.
  5. Department/Traveler: Once the Pre-Approval has been fully approved, a Travel Authorization number will be created in Banner. All Travel Authorization Numbers will begin with "TA" followed by a 6-digit number and will be emailed directly to the traveler. This is not the Pre-Approval report number generated in Chrome River. The traveler will use the "TA" number when booking all travel arrangements with any preferred travel provider for airfare, car rental or lodging and include it in any forms submitted directly to the Travel Department.

During Travel:

Traveler: Get and keep original "itemized" receipts for EVERYTHING including hotel/motel, taxi, parking, registration, etc. A credit card receipt is not an acceptable receipt or invoice if it is not itemized. Save all original receipts until reimbursement has been completed through Chrome River and payment received. ISU will only reimburse the standard room rate.

Within 30 Days After Trip:

  1. Traveler/Department: Submit an Expense Report in Chrome River if the traveler is requesting reimbursement. Chrome River will not allow the Expense Report to be submitted without an attached receipt for all expenses that require documentation. Make sure that the receipt is legible. Travel expenditures that were not approved on the Pre-Approval prior to the trip may not be eligible for reimbursement and are the responsibility of the traveler.
  2. Controller’s Office: Approve Expense Report after auditing each line item for actual cost and eligibility. Return all Expense Reports that are completed incorrectly, lack authorization, or do not have necessary receipts attached.
  3. Authorizing Official(s): Routing steps for Expense Reports are determined by the financial managers of the organization and fund associated with the Index being used, the type of travel, and the total amount being requested. Foreign travel and any requests above $2,000 are automatically routed to the Dean (if applicable) and the Office of the Vice President. The Grant Department the associated Principal Invesigator will be in the routing steps for all indexes related to grant funding.

Travel Without a Pre-Approval

Travel Without a Pre-Approval

The only instance that a Pre-Approval is not required is when it is for business travel that will not result in a reimbursement, however departments should implement their own approval requirements that should include either a written or verbal pre-approval by the traveler’s supervisor.

If you choose to travel on ISU business without a Pre-Approval, this is a concern for the University not only with regard to policy and procedure, but also for the sake of insurance and liability purposes. In accordance with IRS regulations, the University has an accountable plan that allows us to reimburse employees for authorized business expenses with no effect on taxable compensation. The accountable plan rules apply to all reimbursements to employees for authorized business expenses, both travel and non-travel related. If a Pre-Approval is not processed prior to travel, the reimbursement to the employee will be included in the employee’s wages, subject to tax withholding, and reported to the IRS.

Please note: If you choose to travel without a Pre-Approval, your request for reimbursement will go through Payroll on a One Time Only form. The following paperwork will need to be processed:

  1. One Time Only Form - Complete the form with your information regarding the trip. Use account code 66070. One time pay authorization guidelines and document flow can be found on the second page.
  2. Memo stating your reason for not following ISU Travel policy and procedure. This should be signed by you, your Department Head and Dean (if applicable).
  3. A copy of the Chrome River Expense Report showing detail (see Reimbursements section)- This is for auditing your travel costs only. Note that Chrome River will not allow this form to be submitted for approval, but it can be completed and printed.
  4. Attach all receipts, unless the Expense Reprot includes images. In order to capture this documentation from Chrome River, click on the expense report to be printed, select "Full Report with Notes & Receipts" from the PDF drop down and then print.

Once you have filled out all paperwork, attach everything to the One Time Only form and send according to the instructions provided.

Field Trips

Field Trips

A Pre-Approval must be filled out and funds encumbered for travel, including travel for field trips. A list of names for all graduate and undergraduate students participating, along with their University ID numbers will be needed attached to the Pre-Approval created under the account of the ISU employee that is accompanying the students.

Review the information found on the Office of Risk Management site regarding field trip procedures and liability coverage before field trip arrangements are made.

International Travel

International Travel

Foreign travel is defined as travel to, between, or within countries 'outside' the United States and its territories and possessions, including Canada and Mexico. All foreign travel will be reimbursed using Federal Foreign Travel Reimbursement Rates (OCONUS). For travel outside the U.S. travelers should check the entry requirements for the specific country to which they are traveling. This information is available on the U.S. Department of State web site. Chrome River automatically routes all international Pre-Approvals to the appropriate Dean (if applicable) and Vice President or Provost to review and approve faculty/staff/student travel to countries/areas for which the U.S. State Department has issued a Travel Warning or Alert (see U.S. Department of State Travel Alerts). Additional approval will also be needed if the U.S. State Department issues a Travel Alert or Warning after the initial authorization was granted, but prior to the date of the actual trip. It is the responsibility of the traveler to get approval prior to departure.

Additionally, the STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) is a free service provided by the U.S. Department of State which allows the traveler to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Benefits of this enrollment include receiving important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency and help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency. Indiana State University encourages all international travelers to enroll in this program.

Federally Funded Air Travel

When federal funds are used for international air tickets, travelers must comply with the Fly America Act. This act mandates that any foreign travel paid from federal funds, including foreign travelers coming to the U.S., must be accomplished through U.S. Flag Air Carriers. Please refer to the Fly America Act for more information.

Cash Advances for Foreign Travel

Travel Cash Advances are allowed for foreign travel. Money the University gives you in advance or after your trip will be paid in U.S. currency. You are responsible for exchanging those dollars for the currency of the foreign country you visit. Keep track of the exchange rates you receive as you travel (e.g., from Thomas Cook, a bank, hotel receipts, your notes on meal receipts, or even your AMEX bill). Cash advances are requested at the time the Pre-Approval is submitted. Please see instructions by loggin into the Help section of the Chrome River Welcome Page. Chrome River has a currency converter built in for your convenience. Please enter the currency type, transaction date, and amount. The system will convert to the USD rate. It is important to provide the correct date for each transaction. This is the date the expense was incurred.

Travel Account Codes

Travel Account Codes

BUDGET POOL

Only budget for travel is to be recorded within this account code.

70500 - Travel Budget Pool

REGISTRATION

70580 - Registration

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAVEL

Professional development travel is designed to expose faculty and staff to developments in their fields and other areas of knowledge that may be utilized to improve our operations. This type of travel focuses primarily on attending conferences and other training opportunities. The following account codes are to be used when coding professional development travel:

70550 - Lodging, Per Diem

70600 - Airfare

70625 - Car Rental

70650 - Other Transportation (mileage, taxi, parking, bus, train, tolls, etc.)

OPERATIONAL TRAVEL

Operational travel is defined as travel that your job requires in order to operate the University on a daily basis. Examples of this type of travel include the delivery of educational programs to off-campus locations and attendance at government meetings related to the operation of the University. The following account codes are to be used when coding operational travel expenditures:

70675 - Operational – Lodging, Per Diem

70685 - Operational – Transportation

70685 - Other Travel (parking, shuttles, baggage, misc.)

STUDENT RECRUITING

Student recruiting travel is targeted travel that is designed to promote student recruitment. The following account codes are to be used when coding strategic travel expenditures:

70670 - Student Recruitment

FIELD TRIP

70850 - Field Trip Travel (Student traveling with faculty or alone, including field work)

MISCELLANEOUS TRAVEL

70160 - Honorarium (speakers, consultants, etc.)

70560 – Athletic Recruiting

70615 - International Airfare

70630 - Enterprise Rent-A-Car Fuel

70750 - Team Travel (for athletic competition only)

70775 - Candidate Travel (for entertainment and travel expenses of candidates for employment)

70800 - Board Travel (to pay travel expenses of board members only)

Link Area

Contact

Holly Garrett
Travel Account Specialist
Ext. 3541